Frankfurt’s strong cargo growth continues unabated – Passenger traffic at the Group airports worldwide remains well below pre-pandemic levels
Frankfurt Airport’s (FRA) passenger figures continued to be severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic in the April 2021 reporting month, when Germany’s largest aviation gateway served a total of 983,839 passengers. This represents a 423.1 percent increase year-on-year. However, this figure is based on a low benchmark value recorded in April 2020, when traffic largely came to a standstill amid the rapidly spreading pandemic. Compared to the pre-pandemic traffic figures in April 2019, FRA registered an 83.7 percent decrease in passenger traffic for the reporting month.1 During the January-to-April 2021 period, FRA served more than 3.4 million passengers. Compared to the same cumulative period in the previous two years, this represents a decline of 69.3 percent versus 2020 and 83.3 percent versus 2019.
In contrast, FRA’s cargo throughput (airfreight and airmail tonnage) continued its growth momentum during April 2021. The Frankfurt global hub even achieved a new April cargo record, with traffic soaring by 42.7 percent year-on-year to 201,661 metric tons (up 13.1 percent on April 2019). This robust growth was achieved despite the ongoing shortage of belly capacity normally provided by passenger aircraft. With 15,486 takeoffs and landings, aircraft movements rose by 137.8 percent compared to April 2020. Accumulated maximum takeoff weights (MTOWs) grew by 78.8 percent year-on-year to nearly 1.2 million metric tons.
All of Fraport’s Group airports worldwide recorded high growth rates in April 2021 – for the first time again since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. At some airports, passenger numbers increased by several hundred percent, albeit on the basis of strongly reduced air traffic in April 2020. However, the airports in Fraport’s international portfolio continued to experience noticeable traffic declines when compared to pre-pandemic April 2019.
Ljubljana Airport (LJU) in Slovenia served 8,751 passengers in April 2021. Combined traffic at the Brazilian airports of Fortaleza (FOR) and Porto Alegre (POA) rose to 291,990 passengers, while Peru’s Lima Airport (LIM) recorded 544,152 passengers in the reporting month.
At the 14 Greek regional airports, traffic increased to 162,462 passengers in April 2021. The Twin Star airports of Burgas (BOJ) und Varna (VAR) on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast registered 26,993 passengers overall. Antalya Airport (AYT) on the Turkish Riviera saw traffic rise to 598,187 passengers. In Russia, St Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport welcomed some 1.2 million passengers, while more than 3.7 million passengers traveled through Xi’an Airport (XIY) in China during April 2021.